CDMA vs. GSM: the two major network technologies are fighting each other worldwide. The CDMA vs. GSM debate has many advocates on both sides, since CDMA and GSM both have their advantages. When choosing a cell phone carrier you may have to figure out which of these two technologies is the best for you. Hopefully, this article will help you pick a side in the CDMA vs. GSM war.
CDMA vs. GSM: Breakdown of the technologies
CDMA vs. GSM
CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is a technology developed by Qualcomm in the United States, and it is currently the dominant network standard in North America.
GSM: Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) was invented in 1987 by the GSM Association, an international organization dedicated to developing the GSM standard worldwide.
There is no clear winner in the CDMA vs. GSM debate here; it all depends on your needs. CDMA was established earlier in North America and thus has a bit more coverage than GSM. GSM on the other hand is an international standard backed by an international organization.
CDMA: CDMA is mostly used in America and some parts of Asia. It is currently making progress in other parts of the world, but the coverage is still limited compared to the GSM technology. Its support is currently non-existent in Europe because the European Union mandates the sole use of GSM. In North America however, CDMA generally offers a better coverage than GSM in some rural areas because it was deployed earlier. The CDMA network reaches over 270 millions users worldwide.
GSM: GSM being an international standard, it is better suited for international roaming, provided you own a quad-band cell phone (850/900/1800/1900 MHz). The GSM network is also well established in North America, but not as much as the CDMA network yet. The GSM network reaches over a billion users worldwide.
CDMA is prominent in North America, but GSM reaches a lot more users worldwide (about 270 millions for CDMA and 1 billion for GSM). In the CDMA against GSM debate, GSM wins if you plan to travel to foreign countries but CDMA might have a better coverage in your area.